Mentallo and the Fixer
Burnt Beyond Recognition (Metropolis)
by Lex Marburger
From Metropolis this month we have Numb, Seven Trees, Out Out, Mentallo and the Fixer, Swamp Terrorists, In Strict Confidence, :wumpscut:, and Download. Of course, the Download album, Charlie’s Family, a soundtrack to a film by Jim Van Bebber, immediately stands out, using (I assume) clips from the film, along with the now-familiar unfamiliarity of Key, Goettel, and Western. You know it’s gonna be creepy, you know it’s gonna disturb you. Not made for dancing, more like unhealthy twitching. The Numb album, Blood Meridianis pretty good in the intros, usually schizzing out or creeping up before settling into the usual distorted stompalongs. The title track is a nice brooding change of pace, though, and “Critical Mass” has some involved hyperspeed fractal motion, and the whole album ends on a doom and gloom note. :wumpscut: released Embryodead, and it seems to be a Gothic synthcore thing, minor key string lines leading into thumping sequences and the ubiquitous distorted voice. Nice symphonic elements, it works better than most. Out Out’s Finched isn’t worth it. Swamp Terrorists have a good intro on Five in Japan, dark and menacing, but it simply moves into an industrial/metal hybrid that does no justice to either. Seven Trees doesn’t stand out as anything particularly new with Embracing the Unknown, but they don’t really suck, either. Sort of a Leæther Strip sound, dark, disturbing, you know. Mentallo and the Fixer ain’t bad; Burnt Beyond Recognition could almost be used as a soundtrack to a techno-necro-sci-fi-hi-fi kinda thing. A corpse with a phaser. The new In Strict Confidence EP, Collapse, references Neubauten’s first album in name only. More creepy electronics, with rotting vocal cords grunting out the typical keywords, “destruction,” “blood,” “brothers kill each other,” etc. etc.